The opposition to the putting up of the Islamic Center is a slap in the face of the vast majority of Muslims in the US who follow and practice their religion peacefully. It is an assault on the deepest beliefs of millions of fellow Muslims in the US and millions more outside. As one commentator wrote: "It would be an unprecedented act of sectarianism, alienating an entire faith tradition from the American experiment".
The opponents ignore the fact that many Muslim clerics and laymen have informed the US authorities about radical Imams and have thus helped the authorities in getting the offending mosques closed; they ignore, as President Obama pointed out, "Islam's role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings"; they ignore the fact that thousands of Muslims risked their lives and cooperated with the American troops in locating and rooting out Al-Qaida pockets in Iraq; they ignore the fact that thousands of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan are, even as this is being written, putting their lives on the line and are actively engaged in helping the US and the international community in fighting Al-Qaida and the Taliban.
The protests amount to assigning collective guilt to the world's 1.4 billion Muslims for 9/11, to Islam itself, for a deranged act of mass murder committed by a tiny heretical sect.
The Muslims who want to build this mosque did not fly airplanes into skyscrapers. They do not support terrorism. Hundreds of Muslims died on 9/11. New Yorkers of all faiths and no faiths died together. Muslim New Yorkers understand the horror of that day because they lived it. Terrorists attacked their city and their country, and terrorists have continued to threaten their city and their country. Many Muslims have worked with their fellow Americans to keep New York and US safe.